Main Page/Meetings/Philly2021/Notes

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Using wiki markup formatting
  1. likewise, number signs make numbered lists
  2. and this
    1. more number signs make deeper levels
  • if you want to make section subheadings, use the equals sign (=) on either side of the heading text. The number of equals signs should be one more than the heading itself, eg this section uses five equals signs for its heading, so a subheading in this section would be formatted with six equals signs like this:
  • this is just demonstrating a subheading :)

Community Agreements
  • Inclusivity
    • Progressive stacking
  • Remembering our/my context
  • Forgiving
  • Write big, speak up, and use the mic
  • Provide grace
  • Freedom to move
  • Acknowledgment for CA(? notetaker note: idk what this means) flexibility
  • In lieu of clapping (loud, takes up time) silent applause by waving hands
  • Recognize power & privilege
  • One mic, one speaker
  • Ask up - jargon gesture and/or explain your acronyms

LFP Community Culture

When you talk about LFP to others, how do you describe our values, goals, and culture?

  • Very accessible, no imposter syndrome
  • Not part of ALA
  • Some code switching depending on the audience - with trusted people might talk more about our anti-capitalist values, with others might just mention the justice orientation or that we use a power analysis, but with less detail.
    • Difference in language talking to peers rather than library admin
    • However for some laying out explicitly what we are about is a way of weeding out folks who might not really align with our values. It's a feature, not a bug.
    • A BIPOC member mentioned that when talking to other BIPOC about LFP & its goals that ppl have had questions/hesitations due to skepticism and past experiences with white leftists, many who do not or do not adequately consider race in their political analysis
  • More depth-than-breadth oriented. The level of activity commitment is a bit of a barrier to entry, so to some might feel exclusionary, but it speaks to the work and practice that is part of the expectation
  • Thinks of it in contrast to ALA - ethic of care
  • When thinking about the goals, often don't know exactly what the goals are. Lots to learn, but difficult to imagine 5 year goals, application, etc, without clearly stated goals.
  • A community of practice rather than a professional membership org. It's about both the community component (being actively in community) and the practice. Some might consider it a higher barrier to entry, but perhaps this is something we should explicitly lay out in our values about our members, that we don't want to become a membership org where people just pay dues and join and do nothing further. If you want to be part of our community, that does require some work -- not beyond what you are able to commit to, but it IS more than just something you join on paper.
  • Values - pro-labor, pro-racial-justice, abolitionlist
  • Someone would like clarity as to whether we should call our members information workers, librarians, etc....
  • Educate, Advocate, Examine

How do we want to be perceived? What are the steps we could take together to encourage that perception more broadly?

  • Want people to take us seriously! "Oh crap, LFP is involved!" let us strike fear into the hearts of the powerful
    • Could be easily embargoed/written off if perception goes too far in either direction of "super leftist extremist group" OR "just another membership entity"
    • As to what that would take, perhaps some more visibility. Not sure what that would take.
    • Outreach to MLIS students, teaching librarians about the issues around police, etc, bc many of us did NOT learn about this in library school and have to learn about this extracurricularly
    • One person assumed they couldn't participate until they had graduated with their MLIS and an "official" librarian
  • Highlight the word grace in perception - esp in context of tech literacy, etc, we can get a bit cliquish and have an us-versus-them mentality. This is something we could work on, and adjusting that mentality will help with outreach as well
  • Focusing more on empowerment than advocacy. Not just a semantic difference - empowerment is helping people be their own advocates in the ways most helpful for them.
  • As experts and instructors, would like for when people think about issues around privacy, etc, we are seen as the first resource to locate expertise, speakers, etc.
  • We want to be seen as a group that people can be called upon for assistance not just education
  • "If it's not about ending white supremacy, I'm not a part of it." Want the anti-kyriarchical/* (note from notetaker Deborah - I'm using this word as an aggregate term for the various systems of power rather than listing patriarchy, colonialism, imperialism, white supremacy, etc etc each time. [1]. perspective to be a critical part of our perception (and practice, and goals!)
  • Need to be an alternative to neutral-to-outright-terrible perspectives and orgs that is visible and clear
  • Bat signal! There is need for help beyond education, especially in point-of-crisis. We have some who are working on a project related to this but could be expanded upon.
  • LFP has been helpful to many in our group in their personal journeys towards radicalization, and we could work towards actively thinking of ourselves as being helpers on that journey
  • Re: perceptions of cliquishness - how can we be more useful to library workers directly, and how to we build further then ways that this is an org that is of use to people who are not members/more central to our organizing body? Do we have capacity to do things like offer toolkits for local library staff? Local level kitchen-table privacy crews?
  • One remarkable thing about this org is our agility and flexibility (unlike certain orgs where change is glacial at best)

Within LFP, how can we best appreciate and celebrate each other? What skills or resources do we need to make this happen?

  • Suggestion for some kind of quarterly newsletter, bc the various listserv threads and signal chat are difficult to keep up with
  • Would also be nice to have that documentation for purposes of institutional memory, as it helps us see the progression of LFP and what has already been done
  • Some kind of online community space that isn't the listserv or signal chat
  • Changing our title/name for ourself? Listing ourselves as Privacy Advocates with expertise who are clearly available for consultation, not just student/participants or members.
  • Need help with nouns generally! What to call ourselves, this org, our events, etc.
  • Internal directory of our various interests and skills
  • +1 to celebrating each other somehow. Maybe awards too to recognize achievements?
    • Someone has been keeping an eye out and nominating LFP people for awards :) Has worked with state association to create categories of awards that recognizes the kind of work we do, which helps spread the word about our mission
  • Directory could be done through the wiki?
  • LinkedIn badges?
  • Could break into committees/subcommittees but would be sad if that resulted in siloing
  • Re: celebrations & newsletter, could have a simple list of celebrations on the newsletter with photos, etc
  • The online space could be a way of addressing a lot of these things! Specific channels for specific topics, and not limiting participation in channels to "committee members" or whatever so anyone can comment, lurk, etc. Also could have channels dedicated to social events, movies, sharing announcements, pets, advice, etc, so people who want to opt out of any of those can do so.

Notes from Alison:

  • LFP Discord to come!!
  • Internal directory would be useful - Alison may need some help drafting email language to check in with members re: attrition, desired level of participation, etc

Within LFP, how can we best critique and call each other in? What skills or resources do we need to make this happen?

  • Not sure how are the best ways but would love some training on this, maybe bringing in a facilitator who can help with nonviolent communication, scripts, tools, etc. How to call in rather than call out
    • Bystander intervention training perhaps?
    • Workshop on how to apologize
    • Venting channel in the discord
    • Scaffolding
  • Offer space/time to regroup
  • Red/Yellow/Green card type of system?
  • Do we need moderators? Should we designate trusted people who have had training, etc, to help with education, de-escalation, etc?
    • Alison agrees it's a problem for her to be the final say on things like this, not just because it's a lot emotionally but because people often don't approach her for various reasons, whether they think she's too busy to deal with something, or other reasons
    • Perhaps we can create a community council that is elected, rotating position, to help moderate code of conduct issues. If we use this model, we can probably find some funds to get those people de-escalation, nonviolent communication training, etc.
  • Asking for clarity on what we mean by "critique." Do we mean specifically behavioral interactions?
  • What is the process for accountability? An agreed-upon process is really important.
    • With the goal of growth, as people with different values and backgrounds join, it would be good if at this stage we have some conversation about transformative justice models & how repair is accomplished

What are we lacking? What areas do we need to improve? What resources, processes, community documents, etc do we need to do better?

  • If we had more documented history on the website it may help reach people outside of MLIS & librarianship
  • +1 to earlier idea about community council
  • Alison will commit to organizing an LFP-wide meeting dedicated to working on this, getting feedback from the wider LFP community, etc.
  • We don't have a formalized decision-making process, which seems to work for us for now, but it may be necessary to move towards something more formalized
  • Archiving the work that we're doing. What does it look like to create our institutional memory?
  • Scoping what is and isn't considered LFP-work
  • Figuring out ownership of projects
  • Creating a collaboration space for active projects & project management

What does LFP provide that is not achieved by other organizations?

  • LFP was the first application that a member came out in, so it has been a place where they felt very safe to do so
  • It was great to be able to even think about joining an org like this as a non-librarian.
    • One person was initially not allowed to apply for LFI because they weren't a librarian and they were able to point to the website stating clearly that one didn't have to be an MLIS degreed librarian to participate, so that was helpful for them
  • Compared to other orgs like Progressive Librarians Guild, one value is how frequently we meet, and not only at ALA conferences. In person cohort-building, frequent chats, etc, are a fundamental part of our process.
  • This group skews younger than some groups like PLG as well. High energy and enthusiasm.
  • Leadership continuity
  • LFP is community, and a community that is willing to act. "Move fast and break things." LFP has recruitment down in a way that other orgs like LITA struggle with. One major strength of LFP is our cohesion -- technically might be different cohorts but we are all in the same conversations, not just discussing problems but solutions.

What philosophies or skillsets could LFP contribute to for the development and support of your goals?

  • More technical skill sharing! Whether it's workshops we set up for each other or attending external workshops together, like how to set up a secure server, setting up mesh networks, etc etc
  • Setting up templates or recording webinars/workshops for sharing with public libraries, etc.
  • Also being mentors and peer mentors in other, non-technical capacities :)
  • Learning how to build local, regional coalitions
  • Dropbox or something for internal-to-LFP folks with recorded workshops and such that maybe others couldn't afford to attend to share skills & such

What else do you want to say about our community culture?

  • Question about BIPOC & LFP
    • This room has a lot of BIPOC rep! More than librarianship as a whole.
    • Expanding outreach to paraprofessionals, etc, will also help.
    • Having a lot of BIPOC in the fourth cohort made it easier to recruit/talk about LFP
    • As LFP has grown, the number of BIPOC applicants has increased exponentially over time. Cohort 4 was the most racially and ethnically diverse of all the cohorts - 51%. The Crash Course we just ran was also.
    • Would like to see more explicit discussion of anti-racism and white supremacy from white leftists in these types of spaces and expanding their political analysis beyond class
  • Alison circled back around to the non-MLIS library worker point and emphasized that she will be working on making it even clearer that this is for all lib workers, not just MLIS librarians

Future of LFP

What are our most pressing issues/needs as an organization?

  • Priorities
    • Broader org goals
      • Shared sense of mission (long term)
      • Sustainable governance structure, sustainable growth, scaffolding (short term)
      • How to balance needed work and ideas with individual capacity (long term)
      • Keeping track of all that we do and communicating it to the world (long term)
      • Sustaining funding, long term, more staff than just Alison, not just IMLS (short and long term -- BIGGEST priority in this question category)
      • More BIPOC members (short term)
      • Localized, regional meetups and trainings (short and long term)
      • Professional development for library colleagues (short and long term)
      • Different/better internal comms (short term)
  • Action items:
    • Mission statement, values document
    • Governance structure plan
    • Internal/external newsletter
    • Continued BIPOC recruitment strategy
    • Regional LFP groups
    • LFP chat channel
    • Plan for LFP trainings for colleagues
    • Determining what we could be offering that we don't get from ALA
    • Funding strategy (in strategic plan)
    • Applying for new funding
  • From sticky notes – biggest issue is FUNDING. Most funding comes from IMLS – largely alison's salary, some funds go to NYU, some funds are seet aside for our summer 2022 event.
  • more staff
  • expanding membership re: racial and ethnicity identity, recruitment AND retention in LFP and libraries
  • local community education, local meetups
  • importance of regional input/network – state specific laws, understanding local library communities
  • worklife balance – A workshop?
  • Newsletter – 
- Should it be a press release or internal? 
- Presenting to LIS students – something that can be shared publicly
- Newsletter could be equivalent to our "annual report"
- Maybe internal could be monthly, external would be quarterly – yearly, if quarterly isn't feasible. 
  • Sustainable government structures – Leadership beyond Alison? "Bus rate" – where would your project/institution be if members of your project/org were no longer involved. How do we expand our "bus rate"?
  • Clairfying question – do we just want to set priorities or priorities and action items? Priorities and then share with larger group, then action items? This exercise is the making of a strategic plan, will share with larger group so that everyone can add to it.
  • Communication channel needed! slack, something with threads, etc. Dischord or something else? Locally controlled communication models don't work very well.Diaspora was mentioned, element could be an option that was previously discussed?
  • Shared sense of mission is needed, creating a mission statement and a values statement should be in our future
  • Bringing in more people
  • Taking down ALA ;~P
- What do we want ALA to be that they are not? What do we need from that that we aren't getting? 
- Could ALA use their lobbying power more in general and more strategically? 
- Look at facial recognition laws in Boston – why isn't ALA signing on to that in support of local librarians/library orgs?
- Get ALA to reevaluate their freedom to read statement – or do we just make something better? 
- Check in with current ALA members for recruitment?

What are we doing well that we should keep doing?

  • Priorities:
    • Creating equitable, power aware, trauma-informed learning spaces (short and long term)
    • Continue with great LFI speakers (short and long term)
    • Networking/coalition building (short and long term)
    • Maintain social justice as pillar of org (short and long term)
    • Keep trainings free
- if not free, must be sliding scale
- talks fees should also be sliding scale, i.e. student orgs vs large corporations/organizations
    • Education meetups
    • Regular check-ins via Zoom
    • Overall recruitment strategy
    • Grant seeking
  • Action items:
    • Values statement should include our commitment to social justice, and equitable, power aware, trauma informed community space, and strategic plan should include a plan to continue our commitment
    • Ditto above for a recruitment strategic, particularly focused on BIPOC members
    • Networking/coalition building in strategic plan
    • Free trainings/sliding scale in strategic plan
    • Meetups - virtual and in-person - in strategic plan (including regional meetings)

Where/how/what do we need to improve?

  • Priorities:
    • BIPOC recruitment, expanding recruitment to sub-fields and more geographic
    • Funding, securing sustainable funding, getting more people paid other than Alison
    • Outreach to patrons, para-professionals
    • Engaging with disability in work as well as the disability community more broadly
- Bringing in a speaker for a special session
- Thinking about what we mean when we say disability 
    • Prioritization concerns – focus on fewer projects, learn how to narrow our goals
    • Improve post-cohort cohesion
    • Regional campaigns and coalition building
    • Post-cohort cohesion
    • Long-term strategic planning
  • Action items:
    • Strategic plan which includes post-cohort cohesion, virtual and in-person regional meetups, BIPOC prioritization, outreach to patrons and paraprofessionals, engaging with disability community, funding plan

Who are our priority audiences/who do we need to reach that we aren't currently?

  • Priorities:
    • Youth – long term goal
    • Disability communities
    • ESL/ELL and Immigrant/Refugee communities
– lack of basic literacy in technology, haven't seen spaces that prioritize this in Spanish 
– thinking about who is most impacted by these issues
– a matter of just putting things together 
- working with students: thinking about DACA, biometrics used for immigration paperwork 
- thinking abt where the urgency lies 
- connecting with existing community organizations, build partnerships to support one another 
- think about universal design (how can changes to how we do this is benefit everyone, i.e. curb cuts) and universal resistance 

/// Localization lab could be a possible partner – work with immigrants and refugees, think about universal design

    • Local governments, decision makers
    • Administration, management in institutions
    • Reporters, journalists
    • Patrons with low digital literacy, those without access to this kind of learning/information
    • MLIS students
    • Library IT workers/IT professionals so they understand why we don't want to surveil our patrons, etc.
    • Working with reservation libraries, they don't get the support that public libraries do, possibly a branch from youth goal, specifically youth from/living on reservations
    • Prison libraries, prison library programs
  • Action items:
    • Strategic plan name these groups as priorities for outreach, and include who is doing this work, whether we intend to collaborate or expand on these areas ourselves, also translation/localization plan

What are the biggest privacy/surveillance issues that we should focus on in the short/long term?

  • Priorities:
    • Library vendor data brokers working with ICE, DHS, Homeland Security
    • Data cartels (Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.)
  • Making privacy part of all programming/design processes/ in our inside our institutions (privacy culture)
    • Biometrics and police/ICE, use of shotspotter
    • Instilling privacy as a core value of librarianship
    • Attacks on scholars working on race/CRT, doxxing, harassment, etc.
  • how do we develop support for each other re: doxxing, harassment
- knowing that there is an organization to support us when powerful respond/come
– CREATING/doing trainings for internal risk assessments
- support for if you experience retaliation in your job, how to work with your union (if you have one) 
    • Health privacy issues
    • Mission creep in library spaces
    • Legislative protection of privacy rights
    • Police surveillance and social media harvesting
    • Privacy as libraries phase out passwords in favor of biometrics, etc.
    • Google's power over things like Palestinian liberation
  • Action items:
    • Strategic plan: name these areas
    • Revisit antidoxxing working group

How could we expand our work beyond privacy and surveillance?

  • Priorities:
    • How to win in library land
    • Misinformation/disinformation
    • Censorship
    • Learning FOIA, participatory budgeting, power mapping, getting to know your local government (grounded in ethics, community driven)
- examining library boards of trustees
- how do we get other people on library boards, is anyone track current attacks on library boards? – SHOULD WE? (Every Library may be doing that, they do this with leadership and candidate training) Since funding can't be stripped, extremists are taken upon boards to shift money 
- ALERT SYSTEM for these kinds of issues? Is there one for libraries?
    • Having access to legal services within this organization
    • Support library workers rights (are other organizations already doing this?)
    • Union advocacy
    • Public advocacy campaigns promoted by LFP folks
    • Zines,
    • Continue social justice work re: how privacy/surveillance impacts people asymmetrically
    • Police abolition, no cops in libraries
    • Leadership training

/// start by seeing who is already doing this work and figure out where we fit in

  • Action items:
    • Address all of this in the strategic plan
    • Some of this will go in funding proposals too
    • Figure out who is doing the work already
    • Values statement addresses some of this as well

What is LFP doing in 5 years? How do we get there?

  • Priorities:
    • Sustained major funding beyond 1-2 year timeline
    • Assist other orgs/individuals with related projects
    • Staff of 5 full time people
    • Members in all 50 states
    • Consider regional chapters, local cohorts, regional hubs
    • Leading library world re: social justice, library values, privacy awareness,
    • Increase awareness of who we are/what we do
    • Host prof development
    • Train, teach privacy in library
    • LFP journal / zine distro
    • Offer DIRECT support
    • Regional contacts etc
    • Assist other orgs with related projects
    • Consulting
    • New infrastructure support?
  • Action items:
    • Strategic plan, funding, values statement, regional meetups, newsletter

What do you want from LFP? What do you need?

  • Priorities:
    • Legal resources
    • Digest resources in multiple languages
    • Time to absorb what happened in cohort 4
    • Intranet?
    • Ongoing training and education
    • Continued training and support
    • Research group for white paper(s) – an in-depth report or guide about a specific topic and the problems that surround it. It is meant to educate readers and help them to understand and solve an issue
    • how to ensure that we have a practical outcome from all of these conversations?
    • Credentials?
    • Local based sub groups
    • Tor training
    • Continued space and support for more in depth learning
  • Action items: all strategic plan stuff again or grant stuff

Unscheduled time sessions
Saturday after-dinner activities
The Green Knight movie outing -- time and location TBD, see Deborah
Notes of things to document in our internal directory
  • Location (for a map and to coordinate regional meetups, state-specific advocacy
  • Languages spoke for help with translating resources!
  • Technical skills
  • Research Interests
  • Ability/willingness to be a kind of informal liaison of LFP interests/priorities to various professional orgs, committees, etc